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2012 Smithsonian Conference Series 


[riterfaith Cenfarcil 

The Tuskegee Experience 

Classic scholarship identifies three types of memory in ancient 
culture. First, there is the more sentimental recall of personal- 
ly significant moments. Second, there is the passively detached 
memory of past historical events. A third sense of memory has great sig- 
nificance. This is a type of active remembering wherein the past reinter- 
prets the present in the hope of the future. With this scholarship in mind, 
this year we remember the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the un- 
ethical human research syphilis experiments that were conducted for 40 
years in the community of Tuskegee, AL. Some citizens today may recall 
those events with individual remorse. Others may assign these atrocities 
as tragedies "back then and over there," but not possible today. Yet the 
20 10-20 11 revelations of even worse experimentation perpetuated by the 
sames scientists on the poor of Guatemala bring back the Tuskegee Expe- 
rience forcefully before our eyes. Did Tuskegee occur simply because of 
poor oversight? Did these tragic experiments occur because of a lack of 
regulation or law? Perhaps these events, as well as other horrors such as 
the Holocaust, occured most fundamentally because of the ever-present 
possibility of dehumanization and moral objectification of persons. In 
short, we always live in fear of human persons tragically being demeaned 
for the sake of power, domination and gain. Sometimes others are used 
under a false veneer of "progress." How did we respond? This conference 
will be a significant moment in which to engage in the above-mentioned 
third type of remembering that scholars call: "prophetic memory." We will 
enter into this educational event as a type of living metaphor. Our pur- 
pose will not be to engender shame or guilt. Rather we will maturely enter 
into the realities of the past so as to re-imagine a deeper sense of human 
care in ourselves today, and thereby build a future never again marred by 
a holocaust of any kind. This conference will be a rich moment in time to 
prevent the worst by promoting the best of who we are and what we can 
do to protect the dignity and respect that is fundamental to being human. 

10:15 AM 

10:30 AM 

10:45 AM 

11:30 AM 

12:00 PM 
1:00 PM 

2:30 PM 
3:00 PM 

4:30 PM 

4:50 PM 

Schedule of Events 

Opening Welcome 

Scott Robinson, Smithsonian Institution 

Conference Introduction 

Dr. Edward Gabriele, Navy Medicine 

Opening Keynote 

Rueben Warren, DDS, MPH, DrPH, MDiv 
Professor and Director 
Tuskegee University National Center for 
Bioethics in Research & Health Care 

Keynote Response 

Carmen Head, MPH 

Educational Director, Spina Bifida Association 


First Panel Discussion: Advances and Horizons 

Moderator: Elizabeth Holmes, PhD, ABPP 
Ruth Perot, MAT 
Mill Etienne, MD 
Chaplain De Herman, RPSD 
Judith Wilimas, MD 


First Panel Discussion: Impact on the Professions 
Moderator: Elizabeth Holmes, PhD, ABPP 

Charmagne Beckett, MD 
Clementine Fujimura, PhD 
Thomas Shu, RN 
Rev. Lorenzo York, DMin 

Summary Reflections: 

Ruth Pope, Co-Founder, The Appalachian Foundation 


Dr. Gabriele